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20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Arrivals

Lynda Obst - A host of stars were snapped as they attended the 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards which were held at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 15th January 2015

Lynda Obst
Lynda Obst

Interstellar Review


Brainy blockbuster maestro Christopher Nolan heads into deep space with this epic adventure, which is packed with thoughtful ideas and big emotions even if the plot wobbles badly in the middle. But although it ultimately feels somewhat forced, the film is still a mesmerising exploration of parenthood and survival, bending time and gravity in ways that keep our brains spinning. And the seamless visual effects combine with some wrenching performances to make it unmissable.

It opens in a future America where a desperation for food has overtaken the need for technology and innovation. Which is a problem for Nasa pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), who is now working a massive corn farm that he runs with his father (John Lithgow). Then Cooper and his daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy) discover a gravitational anomaly that leads them to a secret base run by father and daughter scientists Brand and Amelia (Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway), who are looking for a new home planet for humanity since Earth is dying. So Cooper joins up and heads through a wormhole with Amelia and crew (Wes Bentley and David Gyasi). Meanwhile, Murph (who grows up to be Jessica Chastain) gets involved in the project back on earth, wondering if her dad will ever return home as he promised.

The first act of the story is a beautiful depiction of yearning for discovery, that innate curiosity that drives people to do crazy things in the hopes of pushing the humanity forward (or in this case, saving it). Nolan directs this section beautifully, with sharp editing propelling the story out into space with real energy and passion. But once they begin visiting other planets, there are some extended episodes that feel oddly contrived, including an encounter that leads to unexplained violence, explosions and melodrama. These kinds of things undermine the characters' motivations to the point where the audience just has to take Nolan's word for it and ride it out, even as the underlying ideas begin to lose their weightiness.

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New York Premiere of 'Interstellar'

Lynda Obst - Photo's of the stars as they arrived at the New York premiere of Sci-Fi action movie 'Interstellar' held at the AMC Lincoln Square Theater in New York City, New York, United States - Monday 3rd November 2014

'Interstellar' UK film premiere

Lynda Obst - Photographs of the Hollywood stars as they attended the UK Premiere of Sci-Fi movie 'Interstellar' The premiere was held at the Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square, London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 29th October 2014

The Invention of Lying Review

As bright and witty as this film is, it never quite generates enough momentum to be a comedy classic. It feels more like a gently meandering movie version of a high-concept sketch. At least it's peppered with sharp gags.

In an alternate reality in which humanity hasn't developed the ability to lie, Mark (Gervais) is a loser who accidentally discovers dishonesty and quickly realises the power of his words in a world where everyone believes him. Lying his way to fame and wealth is easy, but things start to spiral out of his control when people develop a religion based on his tall tales. And his biggest problem is that he wants Anna (Garner) to fall in love with him. But lying to her would be cheating.

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Abandon Review

A timely late October release and a spooky ad campaign suggest that Abandon revolves around the ghostly return of a long-lost boyfriend who haunts a lovely coed. Not the case. In reality, it's a melodramatic after school special about a deranged college girl who gets left by every man she dares to love, starting with her father. It's not scary, unless you happen to be the girl.

The question driving Abandon is who abandoned who? Did charismatic but manipulative Embry (Charlie Hunnam) leave his clingy college sweetheart, Katie (Katie Holmes, who probably would get confused if she and her character didn't share a first name), or is it the other way around? And is Embry alive and kicking on a European jaunt, or dead, as a sleazy, washed-up detective (Benjamin Bratt) believes but can't prove?

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The Siege Review

Think about this. What if the very city you live in, was bombed almost weekly by terrorists? What if there was nothing anybody could do? What if when you were walking down the street, tanks rolled by because the city was under martial law? In The Siege, those questions are addressed in a very entertaining, disturbing, and powerful way.

Earlier this year, Saving Private Ryan was so disturbing; I had to leave the theater. This is coming from someone who watches gory, bloody action movies all the time. Ryan used the most graphic violence in any movie I've ever seen to be powerful. The Siege is effective in a more intelligent way. Denzel Washington stars as FBI agent Anthony Hubbard, who seems to be affected the most by all these bombings that have been happening in New York. Soon the Arab bombings keep coming, with a body count bigger every time, the only thing left to do is send the military in, headed by General Devereaux (Bruce Willis). All Arabs are held in stadiums, innocent people are tortured, even though they don't know anything. After a while, you start to wonder. What if it were black people being treated this way? Whites? Jews?

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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Review

Here's a little something to think about, should you find your unfortunate, misguided, sorry ass dragged to see this utter waste of a movie. Who's more masculine-looking: Matthew McConaughey, with his Goldilocks looks and enormous pecs, or Kate Hudson, with her creepy, angular features and ironed-straight Guns N' Roses hairdo?

This spurious conjecture is sadly far more interesting than How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, a film which effectively loses its audience inside of 10 minutes.

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Hope Floats Review

Mostly unwatchable story about now-a-huge-failure beauty queen Bullock who goes home to Smithville, Texas to live with Mommy after her husband dumps her on a shock TV show. Full of inexplicably wacky characters, all of whom are unlikable, except for Connick, who redeems the picture marginally. Really, really annoying and over-the-top with heavy handedness. I wish Whitaker would go back to acting.
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